9/18/10 (Day 17)
This morning was glorious as we allowed ourselves to sleep in and have more of a relaxing day. We didn’t order our breakfast in the room until about 9:30 and then set out to find the boat to the island of Capri.
The walk to the coast was only about 20 minutes and in typical Italian style the roads were full of crazy drivers and the sidewalks were too small for all the pedestrians. Purchasing the right tickets and getting to the right dock proved to be a challenge due to lack of posted information in English, but by following others we managed to get on the right boat. Of course it is a Saturday and the people of Napoli are going on vacation to the island of Capri today. The boat was fairly packed with a tour group as well, but thankfully it was less than an hour trip to this island.
On the island, we found out, after walking the coast, that the actual city of Capri is a train ride up the mountain. So we found the ticket line for the Funicular and then found the actual boarding area for the Funicular. All was not labeled well and rather confusing. Thankfully we don’t have any real plans for today so we just went with the flow. Once we arrived in the city of Capri and walked to the edge, did we figure out where we really wanted to be was the city of Anacapri which is a bus ride away. This whole island is only 6km long and 3km wide, by the way. =) We took one look at the over crowded buses reminiscent of Peru and decided to inquire about a taxi ride. This turned out to be an excellent plan. The taxis here all have open roofs with a cloth canopy over the top for shade.
Anacapri isn’t even at the top elevation of this island of cliffs yet. We went to the chair lift to be taken up to the top. The chair lift, was just that, a chair lift. We sat in individual chairs, almost like lawn chairs, and were taken by cable up to the top. I guess what the chairs most reminded me of were the chairs on the swing rides at amusement parks, but attached to a cable like a ski lift. The lift was really quite long and of course had excellent views. Finally, here at the top of the island we have beautiful panoramic views of the island, Italy, and the blue ocean. The view is unfortunately bit hazy, but still makes a wonderful spot to sit and type out blog posts. This is probably the least populated spot we’ve found in Italy and we are sitting here, enjoying the view and catching up on the daily journal.
At 5:30 we heard last call for the chair lift and we rode back down to Anacapri. We arrived in town too early for dinner as people start eating dinner around 8p or later. Every place we found wasn’t serving food anymore. This seems to be more of a lunch island anyway. So, we took the bus down to Capri. The bus wasn’t quite as crowded as the ones in Peru, but we just barely fit inside the door for the ride down. In Capri, no one was selling food either. Now it was already 7pm and our ferry was at 8, so we decided to take the Funicular down to the shore where at lunch there were plenty of food shops.
At the shore, everyone was closing up. We just barely had time to grab some gelato before the shop closed for the night. Now I can see why people left on the earlier ferries today. I don’t know what people on this island do for dinner, but by the time our boat arrived, the area was nearly deserted.
The ride back was neat from the top deck of the boat because we could see all the lights from the surrounding coastlines of Italy and Capri. No photos of course as tripods do not work on boats. =) Just before we arrived, the crew decided they were ready to go home and the shoved us all off the top deck to the waiting area. They were so anxious to get us off, I was surprised they didn’t have cattle prods and make us jump from the boat onto the dock.
Back in Naples, we found the city packed after 9pm on a Saturday. Of course now all the restaurants were packed with people. We found a busy one and figured the food had to be good with all the people. However, we had a rather poor experience here. Not only was the service slow, closer to the Italian style of service, but the food was not worth finishing. We stayed way too long trying to flag our waiter down to pay.
Naples does seem to like to party hard at night. It felt like the whole town was out and about. The streets were packed with cars and motorcycles and the sidewalks with people. It’s not a very pretty city and I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone coming to visit. The only thing Naples has going for it, is it’s a great hub for Pompei, Capri, and the Amafli Coast.
We will be glad to leave this graffiti-covered city for Florence tomorrow morning.